The Making of the Middle Ages PDF Ê The Making PDF \

The Making of the Middle Ages After this brief appearance he vanished from history, and the whole incident might be dismissed as one of those inexplicable approaches of worlds moving in different orbits and disturbing for a moment the even tenor tenor of their course, were it not for what followed My reading progression was routinely distracted last week This is customary, hardly an aberration A return to Chinese literature was a possibility The killings at Charlie Hebdo changed that I really appreciate Dr Southern s w After this brief appearance he vanished from history, and the whole incident might be dismissed as one of those inexplicable approaches of worlds moving in different orbits and disturbing for a moment the even tenor tenor of their course, were it not for what followed My reading progression was routinely distracted last week This is customary, hardly an aberration A return to Chinese literature was a possibility The killings at Charlie Hebdo changed that I really appreciate Dr Southern s work I m sure there have been successive waves of disputation and engagement since its publication This remains a brilliant portrait of an age The 11th and 12th Centuries were brazen efforts at stability Augustine, Anselm and Boethius appear to be the heroes in this text I also appreciated Southern s characterization of the opposition between Byzantines and the Latin West the obscure rituals of the former appearing to the latter like a visit to the Kremlin There is a subsequent explanation of the Fourth Crusade which appears to be an attempted justification of the sacking of Constantinople That aside this is a wonderful text A great history book of how the collapse of the Roman Empire brought on what we call the Middle Ages by adjusting to the facts on the ground.I felt it was a bit too Anglo centric, but that was probably where most of the author s sources were located. This is a well written and interesting book, a pleasure to read and illuminating, with many small gems along the way It is a commentary really on cultural changes over the tenth and eleventh and twelfth centuries Its first section concerns the opening up of Western European minds to the existence of very different cultures beyond their boundaries There was a total absence of strategic, large scale thinking, so that the crusades and the eventual capturing of Constantinople provoked changes tha This is a well written and interesting book, a pleasure to read and illuminating, with many small gems along the way It is a commentary really on cultural changes over the tenth and eleventh and twelfth centuries Its first section concerns the opening up of Western European minds to the existence of very different cultures beyond their boundaries There was a total absence of strategic, large scale thinking, so that the crusades and the eventual capturing of Constantinople provoked changes that were neither anticipated nor welcome The Byzantine Empire had acted as a buffer zone, protecting against Islamic expansion into Europe, while the ill organised Islamic opposition encountered by the first crusade was transformed into a much better organised and coherent opposition by the time of the later crusades The second section, looking at the bonds of society , reviews the development of serfdom, free men and their concept of liberty, and the nobility It is describing the development of the feudal state out of the chaos prevailing at the start of this period A key point made is that serfs would be subject to the arbitrary directions of their master, while there was a pressure in the development of the nobility to insist on the right to exercise arbitrary power and authority Liberty was therefore equated with the operation of laws, and thefree men could appeal to the principles of law, thefree they were from arbitrary authority There was active consideration of the notion that kings exercised a divine priestly role, but this was seen to provide excessive power at the expense of all other orders, not least the local nobility from dukes down to knights Knights, incidentally, evolved in this period from simply men of violence, who could exercise control through their physical violence, to become increasingly incorporated into local government, subject to controls and regulation which permitted the progression of society from chaos to the order of the feudal world The book then examines the changing organisation of the Christian Church, and considers a variety of innovations that later in the Reformation would be seen in a new and negative light For some centuries prior to this period, the papacy simply presided over some valuable shrines of saints and martyrs and benefited from the tradition of pilgrimages, especially to the shrine for St Peter As both the Church and the state began to enter intoformal, legal structures, a demand emerged for a court of appeal as it were, somewhere to permit a resolution to interminable legal wrangles over matters including rights of succession and rights over property and land The creation of a strong papacy, with legal jurisdiction throughout Western Europe, was not an imposition but a response to demand The religious potency of shrines and the graves and bones of saints and martyrs originally favoured southern lands, notably Rome itself, for simply reasons of history During this period, local churches set about securing by theft as well as trade their own share of relics and bones, until any self respecting church or monastery could preside over its own collection of these potent tokens of religious prestige and authority The book also describes in some detail the development of monastic life and rule, primarily the rule of St Benedict but later the emergence of others such as the Cistercians It is clear minded regarding both their defects and their genuine strengths, since there was no gap between the monastic and secular worlds and the monasteries played important roles in social life Finally the book turns to the development of ideas in this seminal period Monasteries and cathedrals played a role initially in gathering together and placing into a systematic order the scope of available knowledge, and while this might appear restricted in its scope, it was the necessary and unavoidable prelude to permit the later development of creative and original thinking Without doubt, the extent to which knowledge gained in antiquity had been lost to the Western mind was profound The book describes the utter ignorance about quite basic mathematics and geometry as an example of the ground to be recovered This recovery was, of course, made possible primarily through contact with the Islamic world, notably in Spain The values and structures painfully constructed in this period were of course the very things on which the Reformation and the Enlightenment would later direct their anger This is not a defensive book however, since what it describes is, in its context, highly attractive and impressive The turn to logic and reasoning and the exploration of new knowledge from foreign and alien sources were optimistic and potentially exciting developments in their time and indeed, potentially threatening to established dogmatic thought Other books have pointed out the obvious, which is that in the absence of the achievements described here neither the Reformation nor the Enlightenment would have been possible I especially enjoyed this quote though I regret it is at the expense of the period in question it attacks the optimistic mediaeval confidence that the truth would be arrived at through logic and reasoningIs there anythinginconsistent with civil conversation, and the end of all debate, than not to take an answer, though ever so full and satisfactory, but still to go on with the dispute as long as equivocal sounds can furnish a medius terminus , a term to wrangle with on the one side or a distinction on the other for this in short is the way and perfection of logical disputes, that the opponent never takes any answer, nor the respondent ever yield to any argument John Locke, Thoughts Concerning Education, 1690,.I like it because it caused me to notice that people who appeal to logic and reasoning claim to be employing the values of the Enlightenment but are sometimes doing nothing of the kind They are appealing to the mediaeval thought of St Anselm An example I suggest is classical economics, Austrian economics and neoliberal economics and even the absurd but popular in the USA Ayn Rand Depending or so they claim on logical progression from first principles, they are devoid of empirical grounding for their seemingly rational and totally unscientific theories Another example is the traditional American game of appealing to the constitution and to the first principles on which it is allegedly but not really grounded Again, that is an appeal to dogma dressed up as Enlightenment thinking They often appeal to Locke but Locke, it seems from this quote, has other thoughts Another clear example of current relevance is to consider the claims made by a significant meaning popular in the USA libertarian writer, Hans Hermann Hoppe, about the evolution of government in this period In this case, the libertarian argument is made to hang on an account that cannot be reconciled with the historical record in this book by R.W.Southern Hopefully though I have not based this review only on the argument that this is a useful let alone a topical book Heaven protect us from utility It is instead an attractive and pleasing book, an exploration of ideas and a respectful remembrance of times past It is a light read and provokes much that is amusing and enlightened After reading so many weighty academic tomes of history, how pleasant to find this one as a reward for my continued effort This was a favorite text from one of my undergraduate history courses and I have owned it for so long that the Yale University Press paperback edition that cost me 2.45 so many years ago is no longer in print I m glad the book is still available, because it is a small less than 300 pages gem of intellectual history The author examines the period from AD 972, when a scholar named Gerbert probably left Rome in order to take up the study of logic at Rhiems, until the fall of Constantinople in This was a favorite text from one of my undergraduate history courses and I have owned it for so long that the Yale University Press paperback edition that cost me 2.45 so many years ago is no longer in print I m glad the book is still available, because it is a small less than 300 pages gem of intellectual history The author examines the period from AD 972, when a scholar named Gerbert probably left Rome in order to take up the study of logic at Rhiems, until the fall of Constantinople in 1204 During this period of not quite 250 years Western Europe experienced major intellectual, political and religious growth that led to the flowering of the period known as the Middle Ages It is an elegantly written work of scholarly synthesis and vivid imagination The humanization of Christ born from the changes in monasticism wrought by St Anselm and St Bernard , the birth of a new piety of interiority, the move in the arts and in literature from epic to romance nothing less than this the origins of the modern subjective self, which Southern traces to the new monasticism of the 12th cen is the thesis of this final chapter of which all the earlier chapters are simply prelude An important book, though the topic itself is predictably dry med The humanization of Christ born from the changes in monasticism wrought by St Anselm and St Bernard , the birth of a new piety of interiority, the move in the arts and in literature from epic to romance nothing less than this the origins of the modern subjective self, which Southern traces to the new monasticism of the 12th cen is the thesis of this final chapter of which all the earlier chapters are simply prelude An important book, though the topic itself is predictably dry medieval theology, monastic rule, St Anselm, etc.Compare The Aaby Crucifix Denmark, c 1050 1100 With The Tirstrup Crucifix Denmark, c 1150 you should magnify the heads to get the proper contrast Don t let my star rating fool ya This is a really good overview of the essential bits that tie together what made medieval Europe what it was c 900 1205 and what it would revolve against later Anyone at least mildly interested in the era should give this take at least a quick once over look.Written after WWII it really does seem to be trying to say all that was necessary about this formative period in euro history, at a time when the western world was wanting to start over, again.Highlight Don t let my star rating fool ya This is a really good overview of the essential bits that tie together what made medieval Europe what it was c 900 1205 and what it would revolve against later Anyone at least mildly interested in the era should give this take at least a quick once over look.Written after WWII it really does seem to be trying to say all that was necessary about this formative period in euro history, at a time when the western world was wanting to start over, again.Highlights The families of Inglegarius, Counts of Anjou, France, c 900 1150 how they got that way, how they kept it up.The changed and changing relations of serf and noble, free and dependent.The changed and changing relations between pope and emporer and king and what that meant for the administration of justice.The growth of monasteries, abbeys, canons, cloisters, scholastics And with fits and starts, knowledge of things like Rhetoric thanx Gerbert and Logic thanx Gerbert through intermediaries thanx Boethius and shut in copyists from Malta and Sicily to the Pyrenees, Burgundy to Ireland Hildesheim and Bognor Regis.But the reality, despite the mammoth tasks of running one of these cloisters or cathedral complexes that took care of a communities health care and trade needs and so much else, despite all this is that there were rudiments of knowledge that were only beginning to be understood It was the 1000 s when the west discovered that the three angles of a triangle added up to the sum of two right angles From memory a rather top down view of the middle ages, heavily slanted towards the doings of the ecclesiastical hierarchies To some extent this reflects the sources, but to an extent also the habits of the scholarship of Southern s day I d be inclined to recommend Bartlett s The Making of Europe instead From memory a rather top down view of the middle ages, heavily slanted towards the doings of the ecclesiastical hierarchies To some extent this reflects the sources, but to an extent also the habits of the scholarship of Southern s day I d be inclined to recommend Bartlett s The Making of Europe instead Alternate cover edition for ISBNThis is an absorbing study of the main personalities and the influences that molded the history of Western Europe from the late tenth to the early thirteenth century Southern describes the chief forms of social, political, and religious organization ❮Reading❯ ➺ Muerte en Hamburgo (Jan Fabel, Author Craig Russell – Lavons.co.uk political [Reading] ➷ Jazz Age Stories By F. Scott Fitzgerald – Lavons.co.uk and religious organization All roads lead from Rome It s impossible to read this book in anything other than the light of the post War Britain R.W Southern was writing in countering the Germanic worshipping Victorians he remains locked into a discourse of cultural evolution The German societies of Victorian England were quickly forgotten after WWI, presenting something of an embarrassment and a little of that is present here too.Southern sets out in this book to write a history of European thought of the eleventh and All roads lead from Rome It s impossible to read this book in anything other than the light of the post War Britain R.W Southern was writing in countering the Germanic worshipping Victorians he remains locked into a discourse of cultural evolution The German societies of Victorian England were quickly forgotten after WWI, presenting something of an embarrassment and a little of that is present here too.Southern sets out in this book to write a history of European thought of the eleventh and twelfth centuries a fact at once obvious and obscured by the title as we read it today Writing in Britain he very plainly sees British history as a part of this greater whole and, if not linking England to Germany then where to He solves the answer at a stroke by relying on the Norman aristocracy as being somehow representative of Britain explicitly including Ireland and Scotland in the Romance language orbit by proxy Such an artificial dichotomy is weakened by the necessity to cast Northern Europe including the Holy Roman Emperor as Barbarian , constructing a narrative which in the early parts of the book expendseffort in styling them as the other than it does Muslim or Orthodox churches.This point is further emphasised by Southern s aside that the problems of acquiring servants in a prosperous society are well known and his strong dismissal of peasants as living a dignified life in their poverty So far, so very much of its age a strong focus on the great men of history is symptomatic not only of a historiography at this time untroubled by ideas of feminism, Post modernism or even barely by Marxism but of one which is wholly reliant on written sources In recent years it has become common for historians of the Mediaeval period to refer to the archaeological record on aor less equal footing with the historical record sometimes displaying a worrying inability to appreciate the differences in the two lines of evidence and it is easy to forget that history, properly, is the study of the past through written records.In essence then, this history is not without bias but it does have the advantage of having an obvious bias something which it isdifficult to say of histories being written now It is also not a history of Mediaeval Europe, or of the Making of Mediaeval Europe, or even of the transition from Early to High Mediaeval Europe in another nod to the time it was written, Southern uses Dark Ages to Mediaeval as his preferred terms It is, however, a very well written history of a Mediaeval Europe.Southern succeeds in throwing light onto the Latin Church particularly in Northern France in the eleventh and twelfth centuries in a way that is both engrossing and inspiring His research is wide ranging but he has a remarkable ability to make his subject easy to understand even to a reader nearly sixty years later Above all, I finished this book not only wanting to knowabout the period but wanting to read some of the classical philosophers and Mediaeval liturgies which contributed to and reflected the beliefs and systems described so well here The style is great but the content is lacking.You could say it would be a good introduction to medieval history, but Southern presumes you already know who figures are like Gregory VII and name drops a variety of other events or movements without explanation This would be all well and good if he actually offered some depth in his commentary on these events.But at the same time, it s scholarship that belongs to a different era, and it is strikingly obsolete now.


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